Nico Rosberg admits that he had to get 'more aggressive' than he has ever been during the 2016 season in order to beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the Formula One Drivers' World title.
Both of them have been racing each other from their karting days and have been teammates in the junior formula categories. Rosberg has never managed to get the better of the Briton, but accomplished it for the first time last season when he beat him by five points to lift his maiden F1 title despite Hamilton winning one race more.
The 31-year-old announced his retirement five days after lifting the title and has now revealed that he made more sacrifices than he has ever made to achieve his lifelong dream. Rosberg gave up cycling to lose a kilo, which he admits helped him win at Suzuka. He also went off social media and took to meditation to improve his concentration and awareness.
The German believes his close relationship with Hamilton made their rivalry more intense in the last three years when they battled for the championship. Rosberg admitted that he was aware about the three-time world champion being 'very very smart' when it comes to racing on the edge without crossing the line, and revealed that he had to change his approach to change the final outcome.
"The anger is bigger if that person you know so well does something that crosses the line. Lewis is very good at going to the edge without going outside the grey area, thanks to his skills in the car. He is smart, very, very smart. I found it harder to go wheel-to-wheel. For him, it comes naturally," Rosberg said during a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail.
"For me it is more rational. I have to work at standing my ground. I got more aggressive because too often in the past he had walked all over me. I had to watch the videos and make improvements."